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Glade Mallow (Napaea dioica)

Life history

Species overview

Glade Mallow (Napaea dioica), a Wisconsin Special Concern plant, is found in alluvial meadows, ditches, and forest margins near large rivers. Blooming occurs early June through early August; fruiting occurs early August through late September. The optimal identification period for this species is early July through late August.

Synonyms: Napaea dioica f. stellata


  • Distinguishing characteristics: The leaves of this species are very characteristic and can be used to distinguish it from any other species.
  • Flower characteristics: Flowers many in a large, terminal panicle; calyx 5 to 8 mm, sparsely hairy or smooth, lobes shorter than the tube; petals white, those of staminate flowers 5 to 9 mm, those of pistillate flowers much smaller.
  • Fruit characteristics: Mature carpels 5 mm, ribbed on the back.
  • Leaf characteristics: Round, 1 to 3 dm, deeply 5- to 9-lobed or parted; lobes coarsely toothed or incised.


  • Blooming phenology: early June through early August
  • Fruiting phenology: early August through late September
  • Optimum time to identify: The optimal identification period for this species is early July through late August


  • Growth form: Forb-erect
  • Vegetative reproduction:
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments: Associated Species: Heracleum lanatum, Angelica atropurpurea, Silphium perfoliatum, Rudbeckia laciniata, Potentilla arguta, Cypripedium candidum, Eryngium yuccifolium, Eupatorium perfoliatum.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Glade Mallow (Napaea dioica). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.

Documented locations of Napaea dioica in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.

Summary Information
State StatusSC
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS3
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIY

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in alluvial meadows, ditches, and forest margins near large rivers.
  • Soils: Moist, alluvial soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Glade Mallow. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score
Floodplain Forest 2
Southern Sedge Meadow 3

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Glade Mallow. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Minimize disturbance to hydrology, including soil disturbance from rutting.
  • Survey for and control invasive plants prior to conducting timber operations, as these can be spread by vehicles and often respond vigorously to increased light; see forestry BMPs for invasive species.
  • Maintain and restore open habitat through selective clearing and brushing.
  • Prescribed burns and/or brushing may be beneficial (dependent on local site conditions).


Glade Mallow Photo.

Photo by Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR.

Glade Mallow Photo.

Photo by Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR.

Glade Mallow Photo.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Glade Mallow Photo.

Photo by Zach Kron, Wisconsin DNR.

Glade Mallow Photo.

Photo © Robert H. Read.

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition